• Susan Bineham - Head of School

    Dr. Bineham, who grew up in San Antonio, traces her passion for special-needs individuals to a 3rd grade schoolmate with disabilities. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), master’s degrees in theology and education and a doctorate in special-education administration from the University of Texas at Austin. She based her doctoral dissertation on the knowledge and skills essential for school administrators to serve students with special needs.

    Her career includes work in youth ministry at a local church, at the Bexar County Juvenile Justice Academy and a combined 16 years in the Northside Independent School District as a special-education teacher, special-education department coordinator and special-education campus coordinator.

  • Kathy Bonner – Special Education Teacher

    A graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Ms. Bonner also holds a master’s degree in education from Western Carolina University. She is certified to teach special education, elementary education and art. She has worked in both public and private schools for more than 20 years. At The Academy, she specializes in teaching reading.

  • Christopher De Leon – Special Education Teacher

    Mr. De Leon teaches math at The Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland. He earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from UTSA and previously taught math for five years and physical education for three years at Pat Neff Middle School in San Antonio. He wants students to be engaged in learning by manipulating objects to help them in their problem-solving rather than taking notes and doing worksheets.

  • Kim Simpson – Behavior Specialist

    As the school’s behavior specialist, Ms. Simpson writes and implements Behavior Support Plans that focus on reducing students’ problem behaviors and increasing positive or replacement behaviors. She has been in the special-education field for more than two decades, and before coming to The Academy three years ago, she taught at the Winston School in San Antonio for 12 years and also served as a private tutor and life coach.

  • M. Diane Kime – Director of Transition/Bridge Program

    Certified in special education, social studies and physical education, Ms. Kime taught and coached in Illinois and in U. S. Department of Defense schools in Germany before relocating to San Antonio. She taught in the North East Independent School District and San Antonio Independent School District, serving as director for adapted physical education services and Special Olympics. Prior to heading The Academy’s Bridge Program, she worked at Churchill High School as the vocational adjustment coordinator.

  • Karla Madera – Physical Education Teacher

    The native of Torreon, Mexico and graduate of San Antonio’s MacArthur High School completed her bachelor of science degree in kinesiology at the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) in San Antonio. While attending UIW, she starred on the softball team and from 2005 to 2008 won All-Heartland Conference honors. Ms. Madera was a physical education teacher at Dilley Elementary School in Dilley, Texas, before joining The Academy’s faculty.

  • Donna McKenzie – Special Education Teacher

    Ms. McKenzie graduated from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) with a bachelor’s degree in management information systems and then spent 26 years at USAA as a programmer and data security analyst. Having earned her teacher certification in special education in 2009, she now teaches technology and daily living at The Academy, along with directing the Business Center, where students learn the use of office machines.

  • Nikki Young – Creative/Performance Arts Teacher

    Ms. Young also graduated from what is now Texas State University with a bachelor of fine arts degree in theater. She has more than 20 years of experience as an award-winning performer, producer and educator. “Miss Nikki,” as she’s known by students at The Academy, also serves as entertainment director for Morgan’s Wonderland, the world’s first ultra-accessible theme park located next-door to the school.

  • Elisa Solorio – Business Manager

    Ms. Solorio, who worked in San Antonio’s non-profit community as a business manager and bookkeeper for 10 years, developed a stronger sense of devotion to the non-profit sector and to students with special needs when she became part of The Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland team. The native of Sabinas, Coahuila, Mexico has lived in San Antonio for more than 23 years and has assumed responsibility for The Academy’s business operations including accounting, purchasing and special projects.

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